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tv   News 4 This Week  NBC  November 13, 2010 5:30am-6:00am EST

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hello, everyone. i'm wendy rieger. we'll show you some of the more interesting stories making news around our area this week. among them, d.c. earns a spot on the ugly list. we're going to see why one magazine says washington ranks high on the list of cities with the most unattracti people. some officials say obesity is a threat to our national security. more on what they're doing to fix that. and betty white. she come to washington to live out one of her lifelong eams. all that is coming up. but first -- he literally ripped the door handle off a burning car to save someone's life.
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and he didn't want any attention for doing it. but one high school student in prince william county got a big surprise and a big honor for his act of bravery. jim handly tells his story. >> reporter: hugs, high fives, howls and applause from the student body of battlefield high school. senior chris berger took the stage where members of the prince william county police and fire departments lined up to honor him for acts ofheroism. >> he was able to take actions that put his own personal safety at extreme risk. and he did that to save the life of another. >> reporter: to kn why this auditorium is packed with pride, you have to look back to august. and this scene along the twisty haymarket road where chris came upon a burning hummer that had rolled over. the driver was still inside. >> he started running toward the vehicle.
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chris grabbed theoor handle and pulled it so hard, the handle flew off. but thankfully, the door also flew op. >> as soon as i heard the knocking -- my heart dropped. i kind of ran forward. i guess i thought if i was in there, i would want someone to do the same for me. >> reporter: chris was surprised to hear today's reaction from his peers. he is tang it all in with a sense of humor, flexing the muscle that helped him pull off the feat. chris berger is indeed a hero who is ever humble. >> honestly, who would run toward the car besides everyone up here, of course. i don't have anything else to say. >> downless people have witnessed history on our natial mall and all of those events have added up to a lot of wear and tear. now the mall is about to experience major transformation.
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tom sherwood has the details on how federal officials plan to make the mall look better than ever. >> the reflecting pool holds about t200,000 people. >> reporter: tens of thousands gathered for the glenn beck rally. >> are you ready to restore sanity! >> reporter: in october, the sanity and fear rallies also drew tens of thousands. all those crowds and mlions of tourists every year are wearing out america's front yard. >> it is the most popular piece of re estate in america and i would suggest the most profoundly important piece of real estate in the world for what it stands for. and yet we're loving itto death. >> reporter: tuesday's secretary of the interior ken salazar signed an agreement on plans to remp andrenew the mall with better maintenance, family facilities and preservation. >> so there is a lot that i exciting and a lot that is
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happening right now today in the nation's front yard here at the national mall. >> reporter: the signing ceremony was held at the jefferson memorial. its tidal basin seawall under massive reconstruction. a private group the 4-year-old trust for the national mall is helping to ise millions of dollars in private funds to support the work. >> america cannot stand by and let the national mall continue to be a national disgrace with the national mall plan is, the trust is committed to raising the half the required funds to restore and improve this space. >> reporter: as part of the rest oration, the mall for the first time now has an aggssive recycling program in part funded by the coca-cola company. tom sherwood, news4, washington. >> the interior department says to help protect the mall, it plans to deny permits to some events that use heavy trucks and other equipment that can tear up those grounds. enough about how the mall looks. let's talk about how people in
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our litt city look. according to travel and leisure magazine, we don't look so good. their new survey writes, d.c. resides among nation's least attractive. so is it the ugly truth or just a shallow assertion? john schriffen went out there into our ugly world to find out. >> reporter: how attractive are people here in washington, d.c. compared to other major cities around the country? according to a new online poll taken travel and leash magazine, you might be surprised where the district ranks. >> i would say number three? >> between five and ten maybe? >> i just saw some fine brothers so number two. >> reporter: not even close. according to the poll, washington, d.c. ranks number sixth for most unattractive peoplen the country. >> whoa! >> reporter: that's not the best in the world. >> wow!
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>> som beautiful people here in d.c. i absolutely love it. i'm from akron, ohio, so i love it here. >> gorgeous people in d.c. >> it is some interesting looking people out here. >> why did d.c. get such a bad rap? to find out we went to the bety expert. she is one of the real house wives of d.c. and runs one of the top modeling agencies downtown. >> i think people confuse politics and being conservative with style andeing boring. so i just go on record saying i think washingt has many beautiful people but it always starts from within. >> reporter: but the poll isn't completely negative. we rate number one for historical sites and number four for most intelligent people. >> at the end of the daring being smt and being intelligent, it is more important than looks.
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>> reporter: john schriffen. >> charleston, north carolina, number one. it was followed by san diego, savannah and miami. a lot more ahead including a story you need to see. if you're thinking about buying a pet online, this is a disturbing story behind some websites. more on efforts to
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one of the city's most popular holiday displays will be free this year. the friends of the national zoo announced there will be no charge to see zoo lights. that's when the zoo decorates with lights for the holiday season and this year it runs weekend nights from december 3rd through the 12th and every night between december 17 and january 1st except christmas eve and christmas day,nd new years eve. parking at the zoofter 6:00 people, however, will not be free. this is an important story if you have everonsidered buying a pet online. this might make you think twice.
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the operation behind some of those cute websites can be simply horrific. liz crenshaw has more on how to avoid these pet buying pit fall and a warning. some of the following images may be disturbing. >> i was thinking, wow, what did i just get myself into? and i can't let this puppy die. >> reporter: it was suzanne's first pet. a silky terrier she named buster. she bought him online from what she thght with you a legitimate breeder in missouri. >> it was a cute little puppy with cute little stuffed animal next to it. >> reporter: so she bought the puppy and paid to have him flown to d.c. but soon after he arrived, the four-pound pup became very sick. doctors told her her new puppy had parvo virus, a potentially deadly disease, highly contagious among unvaccinated dogs living in unsanitary
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conditions. a sign buster was the product of a puppy mill. >> i called the breeder and spoke to hm a little and he spoke to me and that buster was played with every day by the family and he was healthy and he was just a great dog. >> reporter: not the case. veterinarians gave buster less than a 50% chance to live and it would cost her more than $10,000 to treat him. not knowing if he would live or die. >> before i got a puppy, i didn't know about the parvo virus and i didn't know there were puppy mills. >> unortunately it a common story. >> reporter: justin of the humane society of the united states led this raid at a the puppy mill in mississippi in july. authorities seiz more than 100 dogs from a business appeared very different online. >> they had a beautiful website. there were photograp of animal in show rings and all groomed and beautiful and looked great. but behind the scenes, the animals were dying. they were living in horrible conditions. we had one dog that we recovered
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from the pperty that had a hole in its eye. >> reporter: the humane society of the united states estimat there are 10,000 puppy mills operating around the country, kept in business by unsuspecting internet pet shoppers. >> the consumers are paying for the bills. the consumers are buying these puppies unknowingly, not knowing what condition they're coming from. not knowing where they're coming from but buying them because they feel like they see this cute puppy on the website. >> reporter: the spca took in some of the dogs rescued from the mssissippi puppy mill. some of the animal were emaciated, had dental problems, heart worm disease, and ear infections. >> we're not talking about mercndise. we're talking about living being creatures. animals that are part of our family. animals that are companions. >> i love you you, buster. >> reporter: three years later she now knows what she should ha donehen shopping for a silky terrier. >> meet the breeder, buy a dog where you can travel even if you have to travel over a weekend. never get any other kind of lo like you get from a puppy.
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>> the state of missouri where she purchased m has more puppy mills than any other stte. but voters are doing something about it. they have passed a referendum to crack down on large scale commercial breeding facilities on the federal level. legislation is pending and of course, rescue a dog. don't buy one. coming up, what is being done to make sure the nation's obesity rates doesn't compromise national security? and a familiar face pops up on one of the hottest sh3q experience air wick scented ls from our winter luxury edition, with essential oils bursting with luxurious fragrances that wrap e whole room with indulgent scent, like apple and cinnamon velvet. winter luxury by air wick; also in new scent ribbons candles. indulge in the new winter luxury collection by air wick with up to $7 in coupons in this weekend's paper.
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some news for your health on obity in america. a problem plaguing nearly 20% of teenagers in this country and now some official say it is affecting our national security. doreen gentzler sho us how they are trying to fight that. >> i want to get a good stepping stone for my career. >> reporter: 19-year-old jay has been ready to join the army since he was in high school.
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recruiters say he is smart and motivated with a bright future ahead of him. but there is one thing standing in his y. he is overweight. >> i was like, really. what doi have to weigh? why can't i just go right now? >> don't give up. we'll get you there. >> rorter: he needed to lose 30 pounds before the arm would accept him. according to a new report, he is not alone. 27% of 18 to 24-year-olds are ineligible to join the military because they are overweight. >> it threatens our national security. in that at the end of the day, it is not our tanks it is not our our planes, it is not our ships. it is the young men and women who so proudly volunteer and serve. >> reporter: the retired u.s. officer is working the mission readiness. the group is dedicated to recruiting more young people for the military. according to their repo, 9 million 18 to 24-year-olds ar
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too fat to join the armed forces and there are new 39 states in the u.s. where 40% of young adults are overweight or obese, including virginia. there s just one state with that statistic just ten years o. >> we need a fit forceful we need a smart forceful our equipment has been a very chnologically sophisticated. we put a lot of responsibility on the shoulders of the men and women who serve so th need to not just be mentally fit but physically fit to withstand the rigors of combat. >> reporter: he says a tough economy has helped to keep military enlistment up but they worry that the number of new recruits may start to dwindle soon. recruiters on the street agree, saying over the last five years, they've also noticed more young adults who can't enlist because of their weight. army sergeant first class jermaine saunders is a recruiter in alexandria. he has to weigh and measure new recruits an make sure they neat
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army's standards. depending on age and height, men should have a bodyfat percentage of 20%. for women, 30%. >> a workout plan, a basic program. >> reporter: saunders is working with jay so he can lose his last 20 pounds and ship out. hall says he is working out and eating right in hopes of getting the weight off as quickly as possible. >> my number one priority to knock the weht off. get into the army and start my career. >> reporter: mission reaness is a big supporter of the childhood nutrition act. that is a bill that would require schools to make lunch healthieand to eliminate the sale of junk food. if you jumped into the deep end of a pool, would you be able to save your own life? sadly in some minority communities, the answer is no. news4's aaron gilchrist has more on the effort to close a racial divide when it comes to swimming. >> reporter: hollywood brought
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to light a moment of pride in 2007 with a feature film by that name about it couldn't ignore a real life problem. black kids, not hesitant to get into the water, but not knowing how to swim. >> like that. >> reporter: this summer prince george's count enrolled 350 kids in make a splash. a national effort to reduce drowning among minority kids through free swimming lessons. >> an epidemic. >> reporter: sarah runs the aquatics programs and works to combat the stere type that black people don't swim. >> it is a joke in our community but it is very serious. we've lost a number of youth and adults in our community for lack of knowledge and expeence in the water. >> reporter: back in july, 12-year-old naji clark drowned in an upper marlboro ool. his uncle jumped in toave him and drowned too. six black louisiana teens died after a swimming party died into a desperate effort to save one another from drowning. thr parents stood on the banks of the red river, unable to
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swim, up able to help. a study conducted by the university of memphis for usa swimming foundation offers starting statistics. nearly 70% of black kids have little or no swimming abili. 58% of hispanic kids fall into the same category. >> despite knowing that swimming is a life saving skill, the experts will tell you there is a long list ofompelling reasons some people don't learn to swim. dr. sherry park is a professor. >>hat happened in the united states is that african-americans have been divorced from swimming. that slave masters forbade them to swim like they forbade them to read. >> reporter: in the '60s blacks were segregated out of communicate pools open mainly to people of means. in today's urban centers, there are other issues. reputation. >> certain sports that give you school credit. basketball gives you a lot, football gives you a lot, other sports like swimming may not give you as much. >> reporter: more commonly he said it is access. >> there are pools and a lot of
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what works in black schools that are not being used. th're empty, they're dry. d there are some indivuals who are going around trying to rehabilitate them. they need support. they need funds. they need help. >> reporter: the usa swimming study points to access and other hurdles. lack of encouragement, personal appearance, what chlorine does to black hair. financial constraints and the overwhelming predictor of swimming inability. fear. >> i just panic. and i can't do it. >> fear keeps her out of the water. she enrolled her 6-year-old john in the make a splash program. >> i have a fearful i didn't want him to have a fearful and he his older brother swim so he wants to swim, too. >> experts say parents have to reale learning to swim isn't for recreation or to train the next olympic champion. >>oth in physical education and healt education would say yoneed to get to the moms. you need to find a way to save your babies.
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>> prorngz county offers swimming classes year round for a feex yu can check with your local y or your community center. coming up next, betty it's pain relief without the pills. no pills, no pain. how can you get pain relief without taking pillsaroun? try thermacare heatwraps, for all day relief without . i was surprised, thermacare worked all day. you feel the heat.nd it relaxes and unlockthe muscle. you've got to try it. man ] thermacare, more effective for back pain th the maximum dose of acetaminophen, the medicine in tylenol. go to today for a $3 off coupon. thermacare. no pills. no pain. just relief. rule the bedtime. rule the upload. verizon built america's most reliable network to make a more powerful you. rule the air.
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the white house just released a statement that the passenger of flight 514 are recovering well from the effect of the substance they were exposed to on board. they say they will be released as sn as doctors determine their condition. >> yes! that was jim vance. he was making a special appearance on "the event." blair underwood plays the presidt of the united states and appeared mesmerized by the report. he was probably wondering, where is doreen? betty white has been making us laugh for a lot of years. but tears were on display during her recent visit to washington. craig melvin has more on how she got to live her childhood dream of becoming a forest ranger.
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>> we present you with this forestry badge. >> reporter: betty white has loved smoky the bear since, well, since there was a smoky the bear. she was born 22 years before he was drawn. tuesday, the age defying superstar who turned a super bowl snickers commercial into the greatest career revival in, well, quite possibly the history of television, got a badge, a hat, and a new title. forest ranger. >> i just can't tell you what this day mean to me. >> reporter: we've seen lots of betty lately playing beer pong with jimmy, roasting shatner and saturd night sheon an emmy and sent ratings soaring. long before the fame, though, there were family vacations to the woods. >> and my first memories are riding in front of my dad on his horse as we packed into the high sierras. and we would go in there for
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three week and never see another two-legged soul, other than birds in our lives. >> reporter: she said she's been an advocate ever since andoday forest ranger white had a simple message. >> once you pave it over, it never comes back, guys. so we've got to maintain it. we've t to appreciate it. >> reporter: like her parents did. >> as excited as i am today, and as grateful as i am, i know two people who would be over the moon, my mother and dad. thank you. >> reporter: craig melvin, news4. >> she looks good with smoky the bear. that's all for news4 this week. what did we learn? keep our forest full of trees and anims, and once again, rescue an animal. there are so many animals that are being put to sleep every day. millions of them because they're not nted. if you are looking for an animal, don't buy one. go rescue one.
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we have great shelters in our area. i'm wendy regier. thank you for joining us. if you fight to sleep in the middle of the night,
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